Dave Whitting worked at Sydney's Bistro Moncur and Jonah's on the Northern Beaches before a long stint at Le Bernardin in New York. He headed up the acclaimed Subiaco Hotel in Western Australia and was Guillaume Brahimi's head chef at Bistro Guillaume in Perth. He's now executive chef at Bistro Remy in The Langham, Sydney. See langhamhotels.com/sydney/bistro-remy
My favourite table in New York would have to be Eleven Maddison Park. Not only is it one of the most beautiful dining rooms I have encountered, but the service is impeccable and definitely left a lasting impression. It is the perfect combination of stunning culinary dishes while maintaining a comfortable atmosphere – a home away from home.
LOCAL FOOD DISCOVERY
Poke – a raw fish salad and a true Hawaiian treat. I certainly did not expect to encounter such a unique entree in NYC, but the memory of it has stayed with me. It's popping up everywhere in the city, in cafes, diners, Japanese restaurants and places dedicated to Hawaiian cuisine, takeaway or eat in. The most commonly used protein is tuna, although some use octopus, and people go crazy over this stuff.
BEST-KEPT FOOD SECRET
It would have to be OddFellows Ice Cream Co – they are brilliant. Apart from the unique flavour concepts they continuously come up with, they pasteurise their own ice-cream base which takes those flavours to a whole new level. Not to mention the old school decor in their shops – it gives all ice-cream lovers an experience to remember. See oddfellowsnyc.com
A visit to Two Hands Cafe in Little Italy. An Australian-inspired place, they serve simple food presented beautifully and it's all incredibly fresh. It was my little sanctuary while in New York – a small haven to escape the daily grind of the city. See twohandsnyc.com/cafe/
My favourite indulgence in NYC is Le Bernadin. Besides it being a nostalgic reminder of my wonderful past, it truly is the best fish restaurant in the world. The three-Michelin-Star establishment sets up an incredible experience, from the moment you walk in to the stunning plate of impeccable seafood placed before you. Le Bernadin defines "indulgence" to a completely higher standard. See le-bernadin.com
A BIG NIGHT OUT
My two favourite places to go for a big night out are the Elvis Guest House and Output Club Brooklyn. I love The Elvis Guest House not only for the story behind it, but also for its lively atmosphere, music, and great drinks. In such a busy city it's nice to find a small cellar to have fun. Output Club in Brooklyn is the opposite, it's bigger and full of bright light and energy but it's the perfect place to take all your mates for a great night. See elvisguesthouse.com; outputclub.com
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Either May or September. The weather is perfect – not extremely hot or cold. This allows you to spend time in great outdoor dining areas to soak in the environment while enjoying amazing food. There are also fewer people around – it's not high season – which works to your advantage when trying to get into popular restaurants.